New Mock Draft with analysis.
Draft order based on power rankings. After Week 8 I will switch to the “If the draft was today” draft order.
|1||QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State – 6’3, 218 lbs||113-160, 1737 yards, 20 TD, 3 INT||The Ohio State offense is a machine and CJ Stroud is the engine that drives it. He has completed over 70% of his passes during his two years as a starter. He has hardly been tested, and should excel in a pro-style offense. The Panthers are bottoming out and have to come out of this draft with a long term solution at the position. There is no other option.|
|2||EDGE Will Anderson Jr. – 6’4, 243 lbs||32 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 INT||If Houston ends up with the top pick, I would probably go with CJ Stroud. However, the Texans know they are years away from competing, and the 2023 quarterback class looks great, with Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Shedeur Sanders. Will Anderson Jr. is the top player in this class, and would instantly be the centerpiece of a young Houston defense.|
|3||OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State – 6’6, 310 lbs||N/A||The Bears desperately need skill position help, but there is not a receiver worth taking this high. The offensive line is another position that is in dire straits. I do not know why Paris Johnson Jr. does not get more love. He is a pro-ready left tackle for the best offense in college football. He should be a big upgrade for Chicago, and very quickly.|
|4||QB Bryce Young, Alabama – 6’0, 194 lbs||125-186 lbs, 1657 yards, 16 TD, 3 INT||I do not think Washington necessarily would want to take a quarterback here, but other than Will Anderson Jr. if he happens to fall, I do not see a can’t miss guy at this stage, so QB it is. Bryce Young lacks the size of CJ Stroud, but he simply knows how to play the quarterback position and should be a very good starter in the league.|
|5||DE Myles Murphy, Clemson – 6’5, 275 lbs||24 tackles, 5 sacks||When mocking the Detroit Lions, just pick your favorite defender and plug him in. No matter the positions, the Lions will need him. Myles Murphy is not a physical marvel, but he has been a strong pass rusher and solid run stopper. He and Aidan Hutchinson should give Detroit a great bookend duo to build around.|
|6||CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia – 6’2, 210 lbs||15 tackles||The Cardinals will probably draft a receiver, since that is all they seem to care about, but the defense needs help as well. Even on a historically great Georgia defense, Kelee Ringo is hardly tested. He has phenomenal size and speed, and should be a strong CB1.|
|7||OT Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland – 6’6, 320 lbs||N/A||Jaelyn Duncan reminds me of Ikem Ekwonu from 2022. Like Ekwonu, Duncan has gone from “who?” to “wow, we need him”. NFL ready right now, he would be an instant upgrade for a lot of teams, especially a Pittsburgh team in need of several new offensive lineman.|
|8||DT Jalen Carter, Georgia – 6’3, 300 lbs||5 tackles||(From Denver)
I am not ready to drop Jalen Carter out of the top ten because he is so talented, but you probably want to see more than simply four tackles in the stat column. I know, stats for defensive tackles are misleading and do not take in account double teams and constant pressure. Carter should ace workouts and justify his top ten ranking. He would be a great plug in the middle of a struggling Seahawks defense.
|9||WR Jordan Addison, USC – 6’0, 175 lbs||39 rec, 585 yards, 7 TD||Zay Jones and Christian Kirk were solid signings, but neither guy projects as a WR1 long term. The Jaguars need to continue to put Trevor Lawrence in position to succeed. Jordan Addison has separated himself from the rest of the pack as far as receiver prospects go, thanks to his ability to separate from PAC-10 defenders.|
|10||EDGE Felix Anduike-Uzomah, Kansas State – 6’4, 255 lbs||21 tackles, 6.5 sacks||(From Cleveland)
Houston needs everything and lots of it, so I have no reservation on mocking two pass rushers to the Texans. Put Felix Anduike-Uzomah across from Will Anderson Jr., and you have the potential to harass the quarterback all day long. Houston needs to go best player available.
|11||QB Will Levis, Penn State – 6’3, 232 lbs||114-164, 1635 yards, 13 TD, 5 INT||I am not a huge Will Levis fan, but he has the arm strength and experience to be a starting quarterback. He needs to improve his decision making, but he makes sense for a Colts team that needs to stop placing band-aids over the position.|
|12||QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee – 6’4, 218 lbs||119-170, 1817 yards, 15 TD, 1 INT||Hendon Hooker was already a first round pick to me, but following his dismantling of Alabama, there is no longer any doubt. I think he is a better prospect than Kenny Pickett and could undoutably end up as a top ten pick. He is a bit older than your average first round quarterback, but his past two years speaks for itself. A teriffic leader and strong runner, he should be a solid starter for a Seahawks team that might look to compete sooner rather than later.|
|13||HB Bijan Robinson, Texas – 6’0, 220 lbs||138 rushes, 780 yards, 10 TD||(From New Orleans)
Running backs still go in the first round if they are good enough. Bijan Robinson is the most complete back since Saquon Barkley. He has been carrying the Texas offense on the ground, and is a top pass catcher as well, meaning the Eagles could add a true three down back to an already impressive rushing offense.
|14||OLB Trenton Simpson, Clemson – 6’3, 240 lbs||45 tackles||(From Los Angeles Rams)
Trenton Simpson is a stud. Analysis over. No? Well, he has the chops to get after the passer, but Clemson has been using him in coverage, and he has exceled, showing that he is a true every down, every type linebacker. He would slide right in at the middle of Detroit’s porous defense.
|15||EDGE BJ Ojulari, LSU – 6’3, 250 lbs||23 tackles, 3.5 sacks||It is hard to win consistently if you cannot get after the quarterback on defense, and no one in the NFL has less sacks than the Raiders. BJ Ojulari may be a bit of a one trick pony right now, but he can really attack the opposing backfield. He could only help in Vegas.|
|16||TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame – 6’4, 265 lbs||38 rec, 411 yards, 5 TD||The Packers offense, especially the passing game, is struggling badly. No one player will replace Davante Adams, but Michael Mayer should give Aaron Rodgers a very solid pass catcher. Mayer and Robert Tonyan would be a great duo.|
|17||OT Broderick Jones, 6’4, 310 lbs||N/A||If the Jets want Zach Wilson to take the next..make that “first”…step, they need to fortify a troubling offensive line. Broderick Jones lacks experience, but should make a fine right tackle at the next level.|
|18||OG Peter Skoronski, Northwestern – 6’4, 315 lbs||N/A||Tennessee has issues all over the offense, but none moreso than the offensive line. Peter Skoronski would be an upgrade at right tackle or either guard spot, and brings great versatility.|
|19||OLB Nolan Smith, Georgia – 6’3, 235 lbs||16 tackles, 3 sacks||The Falcons have been playing great, but the talent level remains low. Nolan Smith, the Georgia native, is one of the most well rounded defensive prospects in the draft. Smith is a good pass rusher, but also has enough speed and quickness to chase down ball carriers in the open field.|
|20||CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon – 6’2, 201 lbs||19 tackles, 1 INT||(From San Francisco)
Xavien Howard is obviously solid on one side, but I think Byron Jones will be a cap casuality, opening up a spot at the other end. Christian Gonzalez was the best of a ton of players to leave Colorado in 2022, and he has worked his way into a solid first round selection. He has great size and is a physical corner.
|21||CB Joey Porter Jr. – 6’2, 198 lbs||21 tackles||Like Christian Gonzalez, Joey Porter Jr. is another corner with size and strong tackling ability. I never know which direction the Patriots will go during the draft, but secondary is a need.|
|22||QB DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson – 6’4, 235 lbs||137-213, 1665 yards, 17 TD, 2 INT||Unless things improve drastically, I think 2022 may be the end for Tom Brady, meaning the Buccaneers will be in the market for a new quarterback. People have forgotten about DJ Uiagalelei following a mediocre 2021 season, but he has been fantastic in 2022. He has a cannon arm, and has been much more confident and careful with the ball, with only two interceptions thrown on the season.|
|23||DT Tuli Tuipulotu, USC – 6’4, 290 lbs||22 tackles, 7 sacks||Offensive line is probably the biggest need for Cincinnati, but without a prospect available here, they go for the best interioir pass rusher in this class. Tuli Tuipulotu may be a bit undersized, but gets after the quarterback almost constantly. Pass rushing is king.|
|24||WR Quentin Johnston, TCU – 6’4, 215 lbs||34 rec, 500 yards, 2 TD||Lamar Jackson will never be Patrick Mahomes as a thrower, but the Baltimore front office has done him no favors as far as weapons are concerned. It has been Mark Andrews and nothing else. Quentin Johnston has skyrocketed back into the first round, and his big hands and long frame would be a nice fit for Jackson.|
|25||WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State – 6’1, 200 lbs||4 rec, 36 yards||The Giants new coaching staff is obviously not a fan of any receiver currently on the roster. Jaxon Smith-Njigba appeared to be the WR1 of this class, but he got injured and the next men up at Ohio State have more than stepped up, which makes me worry that JSN might be a bit of a system guy. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and keep him in the first round though. Hopefully he can return to game action soon.|
|26||DT Gervon Dexter Sr., Florida – 6’6, 312 lbs||29 tackles, 1.5 sacks||Jerry Tillery has been a bust as a first rounder for the Chargers. Gervon Dexter is very talented with great size, and could be a solid pass rusher at end in this 3-4 defense.|
|27||TE Darnell Washington, Georgia – 6’7, 270 lbs||16 rec, 285 yards||The Georgia Bulldogs have one of the deepest tight end groups I have ever seen. Brock Bowers is the blue chipper, but Darnell Washington was a former five star recruit who has had some jaw dropping feats of athleticism that are unfair for a man of his size. It takes tight ends a while to develop, but he could be a nice long term replacement for Dalton Schultz.|
|28||EDGE Drew Sanders, Arkansas – 6’5, 232 lbs||63 tackles, 6.5 sacks||Drew Sanders was a former five star recruit that could not see the field for Alabama, but he has shown why he deserved that lofty ranking. He has been a complete defender, both as a run stopper and pass rusher. Size and experience are the only reasons he is still available here, but the Vikings would pounce at the opportunity to add another pass rusher to the stable.|
|29||CB Cam Smith, South Carolina – 6’0, 188 lbs||12 tackles, 1 INT||The Chiefs secondary has not been terrible, but it is mostly composed of mid to late round draft picks. The South Carolina defense has been very good this year, and Cam Smith is a big reason why. He is a top cover corner who has shut down one half of the field for the Gamecocks.|
|30||DE Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame – 6’5, 265 lbs||23 tackles, 3 sacks||Philadelphia is aging a bit on the defensive line, and Isaiah Foskey could be a nice replacement. He is not overly athletic, but is a tough, consistent pass rusher.|
|31||SS Jordan Battle, Ohio State – 6’1, 206 lbs||32 tackles||What do you get a team that has everything? Jordan Battle could learn behind two of the best safeties in the NFL and take over in a year or two. He is a great tackler who can get the occasional interception.|